11th of June 2021 marks the end of the long waiting time and the start of the Euro2020 after all the corona mayhem. The honor to kick off the tournament is awarded to Turkey and Italy. Stadio Olimpico will be the central stage for Friday’s first showdown of the month-long competition.
Turkey vs. Italy
Friday, June 11, 2021 – 03:00 PM EDT at Stadio Olimpico
An international tournament debut for Italy in Rome is a deja-vu. It was the 9th of June 1990 when the Azzurri opened their Stadio Olimpico’s streak of the ‘Magic Nights’. That night, the eyes of Totò Schillaci’s shined in a warm Roman evening and his star was born. A shooting star in the international stardom, but sometimes that is all you need: someone able to illuminate the night and the game for just a month. 31 years after, the Italians are asking themselves who could be their ‘2021 Totò’.
With Belotti and Immobile having usually had more troubles than not in finding the back of the net at the international level, a lot of eyes have turned to young Giacomo Raspadori, who made waves in the Serie A season and earned a call. However, Turkey’s Serie A stars (Calhanoglu, Muldur, and Demiral) are not coming to the Capital for sparring partners roles.
Mancini’s attack-minded 4-3-3 pose more than one question for Senol Gunes. Will he copy and line up his XI with a similar structure? Or will he rather opt for a more conservative option? Considering he will not give up to the 2 strikers supported by a 10, it is likely we will see a 4-3-1-2 with 3 tacklers in front of a Demiral-governed defense. Tactically, Turkey will try to exploit any space at the back of Lorenzo Insigne & Associates.
It is Insigne the key Mancini wants to use to unfold Turkey’s set-up. The Italian number 10 just turned 30, he is in his full maturity and at his first major tournament after the Russia 2018 missed opportunity (not his fault). Italies are looking for their Schillaci, but here might be their Baggio already. The Serie A challenge Napoli-Milan is completed by Calhanoglu: Turkey’s chances of scoring passes from the 10’s precious feet. In the last friendly against Moldova, however, it took an entire half before curbing a modest opposition.
Despite the nominal ‘home advantage’ which is merely for the stats and the bettors, Italy play at home and in front of their (reduced) crowd. Mancini and The Azzurri have built a confident streak of positive results: 22, 3 more than legends like Sacchi and Vicini (the USA 94 and Italia 90 gaffers). Winning helps winning, and they have been waiting for this moment for 5 long years. Are Turkey set to ruin the party? Certainly, they will try to, but honestly, Italy has never looked so rock-solid and well-lead as under Mancini.
That Italy might bag one before the half-time whistle looks very likely since, in the last 5 games, they only struggled once (against Lithuania, 0-0 at HT) but scored immediately on the resume (47’). However, Turkey’s tight attitude might limit Italy to take over, therefore the 0-1 at half-time looks really an appetizing odd. If not keen on the exact score, you can go for a two-way bet on Visiting Team To Score in First Half and stake on ‘Yes’.
Free Soccer Pick: Italy to score in the 1st half at -133 (1.75) at Intertops (Visit our Intertops Review)